October is one of my favourite months. Not only because it seems to be full of birthdays, and is only 2 months away from Christmas, but because every year in October the Crave Sydney International Food Festival (SIFF) is on and it’s a month of eating, eating and more eating. This year, SIFF kicked off with a series of BBQ madness events, where themed BBQ events were held all around Sydney to celebrate the barbecue grill. I was up early on Saturday morning to go to the Malaysia Kitchen BBQ Madness event, held in Church St Mall, Parramatta.
The event began at 9am and was an early start for me on a Saturday morning, but Malaysia Kitchen’s ambassador, Wanitha Tanasingam (aka the “Love Goddess”), was there to wake everyone up with her enthusiasm and sheer passion for Malaysian food. Apart from expounding the wonders of sambal belacan, she also demonstrated two dishes with the help of Sara from Belly Rumbles and Lorraine Wearne, the Lord Mayor of Parramatta.
Wanitha cooked up some sotong bakar, a marinated and barbecued squid, and ayam panggang, a spicy grilled chicken. Some samples of the squid were passed around and this was the perfect thing to wake up my stomach, with the sweet, tender squid being barbecued to a nice char on the outside, and a spicy flavour coming through from the marinade.
Next up in the demonstration kitchen was the ever delightful Florence Tan, who travelled from Malaysia to attend this event. I’ve seen her on Poh’s Kitchen before and she is just as a lively and bubbly in real life as she is on TV.
Yes, it’s time for Taste of Sydney again! I was lucky enough to win a double pass to Taste of Sydney this year – woohoo for competitions! This is the place to be to sample dishes from Sydney’s finest restaurants, try some food and drink from the exhibitors and also do a bit of celebrity-chef spotting. It’s always good to go with a bunch of people so you can share dishes and be hand models for each other hehe.
The setup is much the same as last year with the restaurants around the perimeter of the outdoor venue and the exhibitors scattered around the edges and in the centre.
The Sydney Food and Wine Fair is an event which marks the end of the Sydney International Food Festival for another year and is also for a great cause, with proceeds of the event going towards the Aids Trust of Australia. It was a great event last year with high-end restaurants like Quay and Guillaume at Bennelong offering up some of their signature dishes as well as lots of freebies, so I was definitely looking forward to it this year.
In the queue for free Ben and Jerry’s ice cream!
It was a hot day so we were so glad to see the colourful Ben and Jerry’s van parked inside Hyde Park, with people scooping up some Ben and Jerry’s ice cream for the masses. The queue was pretty long but it was worth the wait :)
I’m baaack! Yes that’s right my thesis is finally finished! And since we’re right in the middle of the Sydney International Food Festival (SIFF) what better way to kickstart my newly-found freedom than by trying to go to as many events as possible.
The queue at Jackie M Malaysian Cuisine
The Night Noodle Markets started on Monday this week and I may have picked the worst possible day to go. Though it started out as a nice balmy evening, the rain started pouring down about an hour into the markets and people took cover under the trees in Hyde Park. Nevertheless, we still got a chance to check out all the stalls which consisted of mostly Thai, Malaysian and dumpling/dim sum places, a sprinkling of Japanese stalls and the ever present Turkish gozleme and poffertjes (which had been renamed ‘mini pancakes’ with an Asian font haha). The Jackie M Malaysian Cuisine stall was just as popular as last year, with lots of people queueing up for the made-to-order noodles.
Both Din Tai Fung and New Shanghai had dumpling makers on site which was quite cool. They stood behind plastic screens with their mouth guards and folded dumplings in front of the waiting queues – it was like dumpling TV! The dumpling-makers at Din Tai Fung looked especially professional, they folded those dumpling skins so expertly and so quickly.
4 assorted skewers from Mizuya: (left to right) prawn kushiyaki, chicken yakitori, Japanese cheese sausage and beef kushiyaki – $13.00
I’m sure this is the millionth blog post about Taste of Sydney, but don’t worry, I’ll keep it short and sweet :) This is mainly a photo post, with the exception of when I simply have to rave on about how good something tastes. But we’ll get to that later.
5.30pm, and the gates are opened!
The currency of Taste of Sydney is Crowns, where 1 Crown = $1.
Aria: Cured ocean trout with cucumber and horseradish – 10 crowns
Restaurant Balzac: Crispy wagyu beef with wild mushroom and truffle foam – 10 crowns
If you’re wondering where the beef is, it’s inside the ‘spring roll’ type thing. The pastry was super crunchy and the wagyu beef was nice and tender.
Restaurant Balzac: Saddle of suckling pig with garden peas and smoked bacon jus – 12 crowns